Two Captains Log: “Star Trek: Lower Decks” S4E5 – “Empathological Fallacies” Review

We’ve reached another Lower Decks episode so soon! In “Empathological Fallacies,” the Cerritos is escorting a trio of Betazoids to Risa. The three immediately begin their partying, and suck the crew into it as well. In the lounge, chaos ensues and it seems that the three have telepathically influenced the crew to let loose. Meanwhile, Boimler is having trouble resting, and Lt. Shaxs takes him to an area of the security team to…play games. While all this has been happening, T’Lyn has been trying to send a message to her former commander about how much she does not like being on the Cerritos. When it’s finally discovered that the Betazoids probably have Zanthi fever, the Captain tries to have them cured, but they rebel because of being part of Betazed Intelligence. They begin to take over the ship bringing it to the neutral zone. Back in another area of the ship, T’Lyn figures out she’s causing the outbreaks and has Bendii Syndrome. The Captain tricks the Betazoids and gains control enough to grab the attention of the security team. They sweep into action (as Boimler begins to get very bored of them). T’Lyn is cured, with the help of Mariner, and everyone resumes their former calmness. The ship is redirected before it crosses the neutral zone. As a reward, the Betazed operatives share a report of an unknown ship – the one that has been attacking several ships in previous episodes. Shaxs also explains to Boimler the idea of downtime as a team to help hone their skills, which Boimler welcomes and proceeds with them to play some games.

And here we go with our thoughts…

Music

Mr. Daps: “I enjoyed the music on this week’s episode. There were moments that reminded me of other Star Trek scores but it also seemed to stand on its own a bit more than other episodes. I don’t know that I’d want to buy it on vinyl record but it was better than most.”

Murray: “The final act’s score stuck out to me. It had some familiar themes from movies and previous shows, yet seemed to produce a unique sound for Lower Decks. For me, it showed that the series has really taken on its own identity.”

Design

Mr. Daps: “This week’s episode didn’t have a ton new for design beyond the Betazoid trio. I thought they were interesting enough and well done. I also liked the puzzle in this episode, I am not sure if that fits into the design realm, but… I’m going to say it does! I thought there was nothing done wrong at all in this episode. Oh! And I really like how good the Cerritos looks this season.”

Murray: “There wasn’t anything too new to the series or Star Trek. The whole Betazoid partying was quite amusing in the way the women were presented and the drinks they kept having. It lent itself well to this homage to sorority binges or Vegas ladies trips.”

Story

Mr. Daps: “This week’s episode really had a solid story that was almost a puzzle in itself (to pull from Boimler’s story arc). I liked how the different stories all came together and really connected wonderfully. I also liked how many nods to other Star Trek series were found in this episode. I very much enjoyed this episode and was happy it didn’t turn into just another Journey to Babel.”

Murray: “The way all the threads came together was a bit of art for this episode. I liked how Boimler’s troubles were incorporated. The twist with T’Lyn was a welcome and fun way of solving everything. In all, it felt like a unique story, but with some homages to other Trek series.”

Hit or Miss?

Mr. Daps: “This week’s episode was a hit for sure. It was fun, there were Easter Eggs to multiple other Star Trek series, and they made a whole episode aboard the ship that was completely engaging. There was even some character development that happened. I’d say the only thing that wasn’t a complete hit to me was I found myself wanting something else out of Tendi. By the end of the episode, her gimmick seemed a little bit much to me. Overall, though, I really enjoyed this episode and can’t wait for the next one and hopefully more answers regarding whatever that ship is. Will it mean more Orions and Tendi’s family in the future? Who knows! I can’t wait though!”

Murray: “This was an easy hit for me. It was very fun, and had those nice easter eggs to Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. The Boimler story was a bit unnecessary, but they made it work well. I also liked how they had this finally connect to all that is happening with the mystery ship.”


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